Athletics

Nanyondo for second Diamond League race

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Nanyondo gets into her stride during the Commonwealth Games

Nanyondo gets into her stride during the Commonwealth Games 800m semifinals at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland last month. photo by afp. 

By Sande Bashaija

Posted  Thursday, September 4  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Coming into her first race after the Commonwealth Games, Nanyondo will want to do better than training partner Ronald Musagala, who finished a distant seventh in the IAAF World Challenge in Zagreb on Tuesday.

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Uganda’s representation in the Diamond League hasn’t been great in terms of numbers this year. There has been a scarcity of Ugandan runners at athletics’ premier meets.

This has had a lot to do with the dip in form and injuries to the country’s top runners including Benjamin Kiplagat, Jacob Araptany and Moses Kipsiro. About three years ago, the trio constantly made appearances in these races but now struggle to get invites. This year, there has hardly been any inspiring display by a Ugandan male runner in the Diamond League.

One performance that will be cherished for long by local athletics lovers is that produced by Winnie Nanyondo at the Monaco Diamond League on July 18. Making her Diamond League debut, the petite runner set a new national record of 1:58.63 while finishing behind American Wilson Ajee and Kenyan Eunice Sum.

That performance which erased Annet Negesa’s 1:59.08 previous national mark, still gives Nanyondo butterflies. “I have never felt so strong and charged in a race like I did that night,” Nanyondo said during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where she scooped bronze last month. Nanyondo will need charged batteries when she returns to competition tomorrow after a month-long break. The 20-year-old runner makes her second Diamond League appearance with a tough assignment in Brussels.

Fortunately for the Ugandan, she now comes up against familiar foes. The top two finishers in Monaco; Ajee and Sum have been entered in tomorrow’s event with Scot Lynsey Sharp, who piped Nanyondo to Commonwealth silver in Glasgow, also in the field. Also in for the last Diamond League race is former world champion Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya.

IAAF WORLD CHALLENGE
800 METRES (M) RESULTS
1. Ferguson Rotich (Kenya) 1:45.76
2. André Olivier (S. Africa) 1:46.69
3. Job Koech (Kenya) 1:46.84
4. Žan Rudolf (Slovakia) 1:47.09
5. Andreas Bube (Denmark) 1:47.13
7. Ronald Musagala (Uganda) 1:47.80

sbashaija@ug.nationmedia.com